Behind the Veil: One Man’s Spiritual Quest, by Paul Clowes, is possibly one of the most erudite books written on the period during the Crusades. Told from the perspective of one man, a monk who wakes up to the fact that the Church of Rome is abusive, deluding people and is using its power to leverage fear and control over the populace of this particular region of France, he begins a quest for the truth about existence and spirituality – and that quest leads him into all manner of adventures, love and challenges the very core of who he is and what he has been taught to believe by the Church. Brilliantly written, Behind the Veil seamlessly integrates history with a fictional narrative that takes the reader behind the scenes, a look at what is happening at all levels of the society during this Medieval period when the Pope is sending in his ambassadors to convert the populace while attacking the local heretics who are spreading a Gnostic system of spiritual insight, and to get them on side with his Crusade for the reclamation of property in the name of his God, a god that they should bow to, kill and murder for. It is an eye-opening novel, a long read, but impressive and well-worth it. One particular section of the novel presents a vision of our existentiality, which to the open-minded, to those looking for truth instead of closed-minded belief systems, is a breath of fresh air. Behind the Veil is not only a good story, it is written with great care and respect for the English language, the dialect of the time, and an appreciation of the beauty and colour of our vernacular. Get the book, read it, and put it on your shelf for your kids to read. It is a reflection of history, quite possibly more accurate than the historical texts they are reading in schools today.
Review by Writers Inspiring Change